Regional Workshop on CFI’s

Healthy Food for All ran its fifth workshop on Community Food Initiatives in conjunction with the Ballybane Organic Community Garden on Wednesday 20th June in Ballybane Resource Centre, Galway.  Kate O’Dwyer of Ballybane Organic Community Garden provided a great insights into the setting up and running of the community garden.  She highlighted the many benefits of a community garden to local residents and outlined the ways in which they work with different groups in the local community.  Gerry Folan brought participants on a tour of Ballybane Organic Community Garden before lunchtime.  This tour showed participants the amazing work that has been done by local residents to transform the space into a wonderful resource for the community.

There was also a presentation from Cashel & Glynsk Training and Education Centre on the various courses run related to organic farming and cooking. Training on organic farming has been very successful with participants growing their own fruit and vegetables at home and some selling their surplus produce locally.  One participant commented that he now saves 1500 euro a year on his shopping bill from growing his own food!

The HSE West Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service spoke on the services that they offer to community groups in their area.  They run Supermarket Tours which helps people to understand food labels which can help people buy healthier options and save money.  The service also offer support in developing classes and initiatives on healthy eating and cooking.  For further information, please contact Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service on 091 548335 or

Breakout sessions were facilitated in the morning on the following topics: Setting Up your Community Food Initiative; Accessing Resources for your Community Food Initiative and Engaging With Your Local Community.  In the afternoon, breakout sessions were facilitated on: Community Gardens and Allotments, Food Labelling and Cooking Skills, and Social Enterprise – An Introduction. These sessions were a great opportunity for participants to learn more about setting up and running community food initiatives, and share their knowledge and experiences with others.

There was great enthusiasm on the day and many participants left with new ideas on how to progress their own community food initiatives. HFfA will be continue to link in with Community Food Initiatives and provide them with support and resources, link them in with a national network of Community Food Initiatives and continue to raise awareness about food poverty at a national policy level. If you would like more information on the workshop, please contact Sarah Jane Flaherty at ” href=””>

Presentation on Healthy Food for All – Sarah Jane Flaherty

Presentation on Demonstration Ballybane Programme for CFI’s – Georgina Buffini